Saturday, July 29, 2017

American Healthcare and Pharmacology marketing

This year, my thoughts are toward the medical world, as an observer of the direction this system moves.

Being Canadian, one cannot ignore the ubiquitous truth that US healthcare is better than ours albeit out of reach of many. (That is only one of the many flaws of American Health system).
Hospital Care and doctors visits should be universally accessible in any country. No one should have to hesitate consulting a physician, with cost being the deterrent. I remember a restaurant owner friend in Texas who tried to get a pharmacy tech to examine a lump on his neck. She took one look at it, eyes wide and asked him to get hospitalized ... system broken.
Healthcare should not be completely free either. There should be a nominal co-pay (subsidized for seniors or the poor) for every doctor visit or pharmacy refill. This token payment is so system is not abused, discouraging people getting a social visit at the doc.

I wonder why so many drug companies are allowed to advertise on television for their new panacea drug - only to sneak in the disclaimer "talk to your doctor if you have dangerously low blood pressure, suicidal thoughts etc" ... but other than that the drug helps you improve your tennis game, play with your dog better and wave happily to your neighbour while walking, as never before.
Its odd - only the USA and New Zealand allow these ads ... I bet the kiwi ads are not as annoying as "tomorrow, tomorrow .. I'll love you tomorrow".
Eventually the telly ad gets pulled off, to be quickly replaced by a law firm advising you to contact them if you ever took that drug, so you may sue the pharma company for long term detriment.

A society where lawyers win and everyone else loses is definitely one widening disparity between the powerful rich and the have-nots.
Talk to folks who have chronic pain who have graduated to opiods, other narcotics and eventually got addicted.
Now there are even other prescription medications to treat those conditions - naloxone, naltrexone..
Dont get me wrong, I am deeply appreciative of the wonder medicines the new world pharmacy has to offer... but do not give me, an unqualified consumer, the choice or tell me how great your pill is.
Let that come from my doctor. Do the song and dance to the MD via a representative (like the rest of the world). I might just end up getting a generic anyway, since I don't have insurance.
You're not really excited to educate me, but more to justify pushing the price of your new meds up.


Friday, July 15, 2016

Manmade concept reaching obsolescence

Its a year since I last wrote, here we are again with ISIS and their wannabe self proclaimed recruits causing death, mal-influence across the world. Religion is still the among the deadliest killer of humanity, after land ...

Spirituality was mostly intangible, hard to describe, much less follow. So man invented religion as stepping stones to godliness and with the intent to preach a doctrine to a life of nobility.

But like Chinese whispers, as the commandments passed from the saints to the apostles to priests, clerics and their successors the gospel got distorted, morphing darker each time to suit personal agenda.

Holy books were written in ancient times that bore no semblance to life today and are probably obsolete as any other text from that time not containing history. They are still full of cause and effect stories of karma, where good and evil are quickly rewarded, punished.  This put the fear of god (not necessarily love) in humanity. We wish life were like that, and karma were really such a bitch !!

On the vague passages that are irrelevant today, we choose to interpret them with crooked conclusions full of hate, intolerance or judgement on who would, wouldn't be in favour with god.

Some religions evolved over time, some are going backward (as said last year). It's fair to say though, the maturity index of a faith is its extent of tolerance toward those that are extraneous to it.

My own conclusions - be good to others (at least start out that way), be good to the earth, the environment, the poor, the less privileged, the sick, the young, the old ... and your mother.
You'll be just fine believing in the force, thereafter.


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Religion, Spirituality, Tolerance, Sexuality and Direction

Time for my annual blog :), or so it seems ...

It is very hard to change minds and hearts of people, sometimes a whole generation has to pass.
Some of us will be strongly religious, others spiritual without further definition, some agnostic, few atheist or with belief in science, karma or logic.
There are also those that just defy classification. Doubt is noble, a virtue.
Any or all are acceptable, what is not is intolerance in the name of religion.
Christianity has somewhat emerged from its dark ages of intolerance where a scientific revelation was deemed blasphemy. Many others, some older .. have not evolved or are in retrograde.
I would not call any religion peaceful if most of its followers disapprove of other faiths or customs, or show hostility when someone disapproves of them, never mind what "The Book" says. Demonstrate peaceful, don't say it .. if you want me to believe.
Science cannot explain all, man has to find a convenient simplistic answer, faith warms the heart and strengthens the soul. Enough said. Let the temples and churches be.
That aside, almost all rules in the holy books were written by men - just regular people, possibly appropriate for the time they were in and based on what was common knowledge.
This is a different world, people outnumber their optimal quantity based on earths biosphere by a factor of 3 or 4. We could suppose homosexuality is natures answer to man's indiscriminate procreation.  Maybe, maybe not .. but as said before .. to not be sure of complex phenomena shows more understanding and respect than myopic view of "man and a woman union" and anything else being evil.
What would help is if we put aside petty differences that have occupied our energies and hostile genes thus far, focusing not on making silly cellphone apps for the number of steps we take in a day or better streaming of choice music but more toward seeking ways to cleaner earth, water, energy harnessing power of sunlight, wind, atoms, magnetism among others and while doing so, conserve and preciously use resources we have
 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

One mans war is another mans terror - to the rest of us, its just sadness

July 2014

The worlds aflame - Israel/Palestine ... not one politician or newsman seems to show sufficient wisdom for insight that resolving this chronic conflict would involve not taking sides. Asking if one country has the right to defend itself is a futile question, will not lead to peace. When both sides meet face to face and agree to give up something reluctantly, preciously being held on to, there could be the beginning of resolution. Very difficult. It involves undressing the emotion, anger and ego before sitting colorless at the negotiation table.

Russia/Ukraine ... there is no war here, it is one large country trying to gobble up parts of a smaller one. the ill fated MH17 plane was collateral damage. US depends on Russia for its space program and EU on them for inexpensive oil for energy. Sanctions are not going to hurt them, if they raise prices on these services. Denounce all Russian as non-cool softly until Russians start hating their own leader. Long drawn process .. all criticism on Obama et al being too soft or firm is irrelevant.

Syria .. poor forgotten place of conflict since focus shifted to other world areas. ISIS, Boko Haram, al Shabab, Al Qaeda, Taliban, Janjaweed, Lashkar Taiba .... these are the true villians .. as much a threat as Ebola, AIDS, tsunamis, climate change. We need a global sustained effort to exterminate the threats they bring.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Climate change 101

Arctic Polar ice is on an irreversible path to complete meltdown in the next few years.
That being said, the entire population of bears that lives on permafrost, glacial ice is threatened with extinction.
(Bears can swim but will eventually die of exhaustion without land to rest).

Now is the time for Governments and big industry to appoint and sponsor a body that could ...
1. Work on either relocating the polar bears or creating pseudo land masses to save them.
2. Research on ideas like Lagrangian point dish, artificial cloud cover or similar deflection of polar incident sunlight so as to preserve/extend ice cap longevity.
3 Current effort need be on research. When evidence is overwhelming (if not already) for an imminent complete summer ice cap disappearance, a joint financial and kinetic macro global undertaking should be under way to put our ecosystem over our human materialistic default ways. US, Canada, China, Japan, UK among others should lead.
4. Governments should subsidize big industry trade as a reward to their contributions in this endeavour and penalize companies that move us in the opposite direction.
5. CO2, CH4 ppm in the air will continue to rise. With all our intelligence and progress, we still cannot replicate a simple tree that takes in CO2 and releases O2.
6. Other areas on this study should be toward better capture and sequestration of CO2, CH4 to lower current atmospheric ratios of heat trapping and retaining gases.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How China became factory to the world

ACME USA made/sold a widget for $10 each. China heavily subsidizes machines, utililities and manufacturing infrastructure to a local entrepreneur to make/sell a copies for $3 each. Quality is poor at first but they improve to $5 each

ACME now has serious competition, losing market share and is threatened by globalization. China approaches ACME to start manufacturing there, with an amazing offer on the table, including silencing the clones. There are strings attached. Shareholders are excited to accept.
ACME sets up a factory in mainland, making widgets for $7, paying $2 to China and a dollar to ship them back to the US to sell them for $10 each, as before.